With the debut of Laura “X-23” Kinney in Logan a few weeks ago, and the recent news of Zazie Beatz being cast in Fox’s Deadpool 2 as Domino as well as the impending Cable casting announcement, interest in Fox’s X-Force film has been ramping up. Many fans like myself have been wondering just who would be on the deadly mutant team’s roster and who would appear in the film as well as any possible hints towards a villain and story points. For those of you who are unfamiliar with X-Force, its a strike force style team of mutants formed by Cable to carry out a more aggressive version of Professor X’s beliefs and mission for mutant and humankind. The team was created in 1991 by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld, and the series has had varying degrees of success as well as many different character rosters. Now you all know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to weight in on who I think should join the cast.
Dafne Keen as Laura “X-23” Kinney
One of the main things that people have not been able to stop praising about Hugh Jackman’s final X-Men film Logan is the amazing and riveting performance of the young Ms. Dafne Keen as X-23. X-23 debuted in X-Men Evolution season 3 episode 11 later before appearing in the comic books in 2004. For the majority of the film Dafne steals the show. And mind, you she does this without a single ounce of dialogue until the last half of the movie. She has so much presence and so much talent that I would honestly love to see her go the way of Hugh Jackman and age into the role. I can’t imagine anyone else as Laura at this point and so I’m definitely down for the X-23 movie that Dafne and Mangold are hoping to make.
Stephen Lang as Nathan “Cable” Summers
Cable is the time traveling badass mutant son of Cyclops and and Jean Grey’s clone Madelyn Pryor. Cable has a long convoluted and often times overly complicated backstory, so we will just focus on the fact that he is Cyclops’s kid. Cable is the creation of Rob Liefeld, and he debuted in March 1990. Stephen Lang is literally the embodiment of Cable. He is a tough as nails, weathered gruff macho man who perfectly fits the role. When he was told to create Cable, Liefeld is quoted as saying “I was given a directive to create a new leader for the New Mutants. There was no name, no description besides a ‘man of action’, the opposite of Xavier.”
Gemma Chan or Olivia Cheng as Betsey “Psylocke” Braddock
Let me start off by saying that Psylocke as a character has as really sketch backstory thats pretty problematic. Psylocke’s backstory definitely pulls some shenanigans that would put you in the mind of Scarlet Johansson’s upcoming flop Ghost in the Shell in that she is a white european woman who ends up having her consciousness transferred into the body of an asian martial artist. If and when Psylocke is given an expanded role, that definitely needs to be addressed and remedied. Psylocke debuted in December of 1976 in Marvel’s Captain Britain #8 (her brother’s comic). Psylocke is a strong telepath, and she has the ability to create weapons from purple psionic energy that she projects from her body. I chose Gemma Chan and Olivia Cheng because both are fantastic actresses that I think could breath alot of life and nuance into one of my Favorite X-Women. Gemma could definitely give Betsey her British accent while also providing a stern and badass characterization. I also chose Olivia Cheng because anyone who has seen Netflix’s Marco Polo can tell you that she is more than capable of handling her stunts as well as doing fantastic dramatic work. As an actress, she is the best of both worlds.
Martin Sensmeier as James “Warpath” Proudstar
Do I really even need to explain this one? No but seriously, Sensmeier is the perfect fit for Proudstar. He has the ability to do the brooding, silent type. I’m a huge fan of representation and a firm believer that we need more good Native representation that isn’t stereotypical and that celebrates the different cultures. Warpath made his first appearance in June 1984 in the pages of New Mutants #16. Warpath is the younger brother of John “Thunderbird” Proudstar who was one of the main characters in Marvel’s Giant Sized X-Men reboot of the series in 1975.
Rose Leslie as Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair
I’ve had the hugest crush on Rose Leslie since Game of Thrones and I’ve wanted to see her in more fantasy type roles like The X-Men. Rose is a fantastic actress who exudes confidence and power. I’d love to see her play Wolfsbane in order to explore the characters inner power as well as her frailty and vulnerability. The character is a certified badass, and I’d love to see her join the X-Force team for the film. The character debuted in Marvel’s 1982 comic Marvel Graphic Novel #4 The New Mutants. Rahne’s mutant ability is that she can transform into a wolf, as well as into a transitional state that is between the two, which makes her look like a werewolf, however while doing so she has to control her feral animalistic instincts.
Karen Gillan as Theresa “Siryn” Cassidy
I have adored Karen Gillan since her days on Doctor Who and I think she would make the perfect Siryn. I know she isn’t on the original X-Force, but I think a mutant of her skill set could add something new and interesting to the team. Siryn debuted in Spider-Woman #37 in April 1981. She has powers that essentially make her the equivalent of Black Canary, and as you’ve probably learned if you follow me personally, I really really love Black Canary.
Kofi Siriboe as Remy “Gambit” Lebeau
Gambit is another character that I know wasn’t in the original X-Force, but I feel like he would be a perfect fit especially for heist-esque missions. Remy is extremely charming and good at what he does. His moral compass and loyalty is mainly ruled by money, and who has more of it. Although, there are often exceptions.
I chose Kofi Siriboe from OWN’s Queen Sugar to portray Remy because he has everything you need for the Nola native. Kofi is devilishly handsome and charming, and just like Remy, he could probably convince you to willingly give him everything you own. I would absolutely lose it to see Kofi don the red and black eyes, trench coat, bow staff, and cajun accent.
Stephan James as Jesse “Bedlam” Aaronson
Bedlam is a character that could use a little more recognition and love in the X-Men universe. Bedlam is a mutant with the ability to sense and understand energy signatures, as well as generate a bio-EM field which essentially lets him raise all kinds of hell on nearby technology. His powers have many other cool applications, but the sparknotes version of all this just boils down to the simple fact that the guy is a badass. Bedlam was created in March 1995 in X-Factor #1 during the Age of Apocalypse, and he is based on a character that appeared during the event, but at the time didn’t appear on Earth 616.
Sam Claflin as Warren “Archangel” Worthington III
Angel was one of the original X-Men from the original series debuting in X-Men #1 in 1963 as one of Stan Lee’s original creations. Through a long series of events, Angel has been transformed into a metal winged version of himself multiple times. Sam Claflin would make a fantastic Angel because he is good at finding the humanity and the soul in a character. He would do a fantastic job of conveying Archangel’s anger, rage, sadness, and frustration.
Peter Mullen as Reverend Craig Sinclair
Reverend Craig Sinclair is a physically and mentally abusive Priest who raised Rahne sinclair aka Wolfsbane, but it turns out he is actually her biological father. I’m more familiar with Reverend Craig in more recent runs of X-Force such as the Angels and Demons run where he and Wolfsbane have a bit of an altercation…I wont spoil anything. However, I chose Peter Mullen as Reverend Craig Sinclair for quite a few reasons: Mullen’s voice is pure gold, especially with his thick Scottish accent. On top of that, he just plays an asshole so well. Some of us might remember him from the later of the Harry Potter films where plays the Death Eater Yaxley.
Michael Sheen as Mr. Sinister
Any X-Men fan should be familiar with Mr. Sinister. The character has appeared in countless arcs at countless points to raise hell in the lives of the X-Men, but specifically in the lives of Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Mr. Sinister first leapt onto the comic book scene in Uncanny X-Men #221 in September 1987, and he has been nothing but trouble and mayhem since. The character is a darwinian scientist who is an altered human by way of none other than Apocalypse. Mr. Sinister is an expert in all things genetic, which includes cloning and genetic modification. He is responsible for the cloning of Jean Grey and the creation of The Goblin Queen Madelyn Pryor, who later becomes the mother of everyones favorite time traveling tough guy…Cable. He is a powerful telepath with a myriad of other gifts. Mr. Sinister is known for his creepy smile and his downright devilish look. Michael Sheen has shown time and time again that when it comes to sinister, creepy, and downright sadistic. he is the man for the part. He can give Mr. Sinister that certain quality that he needs come off as intimidating, scary, creepy, and immensely intelligent.
Robert Knepper as Telford “Vanisher” Porter
Vanisher, who debuted in November 1963 in X-Men #2, is a career criminal and mutant with the power to teleport. Vanisher, whose real name is Telford Porter, has had quite the history with the X-Men. Vanisher has even had his fair share of run ins with X-Force (one of which involved a large shipment of the legacy virus and the group giving him an X-Men symbol shaped brain tumor to force his cooperation). The character would make for an interesting side villain or henchman, considering his skill set and the opportunity that it presents for great visuals on film. Robert Knepper has made a pretty successful career out of playing seedy, shady, crooks who are only in it for the money or for self preservation. He is quite the actor who can give a really creepy and interesting performance, as well as make you hate that you like a character; something that I think would be the perfect angle to take for Vanisher.
Collin Farrell as Bastion
Bastion is a human Sentinel hybrid that is the result of Master Mold absorbing Nimrod into its systems. Because of this, the X-Men saw no other way to defeat the being other than forcing him through an interdimensional portal that subjected the being to the judgement of universal forces, and Bastion is what came back through. Bastion is essentially a powerful cyborg entity that has raised quite a bit of hell for not just the X-Men, but also for X-Force. Bastion first appeared in comic in May 1996 in the pages of X-Men Vol. 2 #52. There are few actors who can give moody, brooding, sadistic, and emotionless the way that Collin Farrell can. To be quite honest, the man has the ability to be both charming and quite terrifying; something that I think would be a great fit for Bastion. It would be interesting to see Bastion both struggle with the meaning of his existence while still falling victim to the desire to destroy mutants that comes with being a Sentinel.